Destination dupes are set to be one of the most popular travel trends in 2024 according to the experts at Expedia, and I have a place that should be close to the top of your list.

For those unfamiliar with the ‘dupe’ trend, it is an affordable alternative to a popular product and has become extremely popular on social media platforms, especially TikTok. 

There are so many tried-and-true destinations travellers love from the likes of Santorini in Greece, London in the UK and Sydney in Australia. 

Belgium is a fantastic travel destination, that millions of people flock to each year. 

When I say Belgium, people automatically think of Brussels. And why not it has so much to offer from its tourist attractions like The Atomium and Manneken Pis to its world-famous beer.

But, like me, if you like exploring somewhere a little different, but with the same kind of vibe and things to see and do as the major tourist spots, I have the Brussels dupe for you. 

@patrickglover90 Destinstion dupes are set to be a popular travel trend in 2024 - Antwerp is the perfect alternative to Brussels and should be on your list of places to visit 🇧🇪 #Antwerp #belgium #expedia #madonna #celebrationtour #dupe ♬ Holiday - Madonna

Antwerp - the perfect Belgium alternative

An hour's drive out of Brussels is Antwerp. A quiet, unassuming city that oozes charm.

It has a very kind of Amsterdam vibe to it, minus the canals (although it did use to have canals back in the day, but that's another story - that you could explore while there).

It is easy to get there, being just a short flight from the UK to Brussels - I flew from Manchester and it took a little over an hour (we'd barely reached maximum altitude before we were descending again).

From Brussels airport, it's around an hour's drive to Antwerp.

Things to see and do in Antwerp

While it may be quiet and unassuming, there is still plenty to see and do in Antwerp.

The city centre is a labyrinth of streets full of shops, cafes and restaurants. 

Halesowen News: Antwerp should be high on your list of places to visit.Antwerp should be high on your list of places to visit. (Image: Patrick Glover)

The main square consists of the famous Brabo's Monument tells the story of how Antwerp got its name as well as the town hall which shows off the town's exquisite and historical architecture. 

From the square you can even see Antwerps answer to Brussels' Manneken Pis.

Other landmarks worth a visit in Antwerp include the Het Steen - a medieval fortress by the harbour, the Cathedral of Our Lady and the Nello & Patrache Statue (which has quite a sad story behind it).

And that's just the places I had a chance to visit in my short weekend trip there. There is so much more to see and do. 

If you are looking for an alternative destination to catch a concert in 2024, be sure to check out Antwerp to see if your favourite band or singer is playing there. 

Tour Tourism is set to be a popular trend in 2024, according to Expedia.

According to a recent survey by the travel experts, 70% of respondents said they are more likely to travel to a concert outside their own town, with over 40% saying they’d travel for a concert as an excuse to visit a new place.

While there I was lucky enough to catch the Queen of Pop herself, Madonna, in concert at the Sportpaleis. 

Restaurants, food and drink in Antwerp

The food and drink in Antwerp were among the best I have ever had, and I mean it. 

We visited a fantastic restaurant called Bourla on a Saturday night and boy oh boy was the food good. 

I had a mushroom risotto with halloumi croquettes and wow, it still makes me hungry just thinking about it. Up there as one of the best meals I've ever had. 

Halesowen News: The mushroom risotto I had in Antwerp was among the best meals I've ever had.The mushroom risotto I had in Antwerp was among the best meals I've ever had. (Image: Patrick Glover)

Belgium is famous for its beer and it didn't disappoint. The local beer in Antwerp is Bolleke and is a must-try if you visit.

Really along with any other beer from Belgium, I have to say I had a few nice ones throughout the weekend. 

Where to stay in Antwerp

There are so many different options, but a recommendation from me based on experience - the Lindner Hotel Antwerp. Amazing.

From the moment you walked in you just knew it was going to be quality.

The rooms were spacious, with plenty of room to move around, it even had a little couch by the window. 

The bathroom was lovely, modern and like the rest of the room a great size. It had a bath, shower and two lavish sinks.

My room even had its own balcony overlooking the little square below and the train line that ran over a bridge nearby.

It wasn't just a small balcony, there was enough room to comfortably seat several people.

Halesowen News: The rooms at the Lindner Hotel Antwerp were incredible - 5-stars.The rooms at the Lindner Hotel Antwerp were incredible - 5-stars. (Image: Patrick Glover)

Downstairs the bar and the restaurant had a very upbeat vibe. From great food to delicious cocktails and a good selection of beer, it had it all. 

Vibe check-ins are also set to be popular in the new year, says. 

The hotel experts revealed that beyond searching for specific amenities or star ratings, a hotel’s overall ‘vibe’ is becoming a significant deciding factor for travellers.

Guest reviews mentioning the word ‘vibe’ have increased an average of 1,090% in the past year, while 9 out of 10 travellers say the vibe of a hotel is important when booking.


And the breakfast, wow - anything you could want for breakfast the Lindner provided. From Waffles to a fry-up to continental, you name it, they had it.

So if you are looking for a cheaper travel alternative that is something different to what everyone else is doing, be sure to visit Antwerp.

You won't regret it. I already can't wait to go back.